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  5. How To Treat Dry Skin Problems With Ayurveda?

Is your skin becoming dry and flaky despite the use of moisturizers? Your dry skin problems may need a more holistic approach.

According to the ancient Ayurvedic texts, causes of skin problems are often embedded deep within. From the lack of optimum nutrition to a hectic lifestyle can all cause an imbalance in your body functions leading to the degeneration of skin’s health. But on the bright side, dry skin conditions can easily be reversed with simple Ayurvedic and homemade remedies.

Scroll down to know the different types of dry skin and how to tackle them using the natural remedies.

What Is Dry Skin?

The sebum [1] secreted from the sebaceous glands that lie within the dermis keeps your skin moisturized and supple. Skin that naturally has a low number of sebaceous glands tends to be dry. Sometimes, certain skin conditions may affect the sebum secretion or impair your skin barrier, leading to patches of dry skin on your face, elbow or other body parts.

Xerosis [2] or dry skin is more common with ageing when your skin’s ability to retain moisture decreases. However, experiencing dry, flaky skin with cracks can become a cause of concern for young skin that was healthy before.

According to Ayurveda, ‘Twak Rukshta’ (dry skin) is classified under minor skin diseases or ‘Kshudra Kushta’. Ayurveda states that our body functions are governed by the three life energies or Tridoshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha. An imbalance in their levels directly affects our physical and mental wellbeing. An aggravation of the Vata and Pitta Doshas may increase heat and dryness in your body, leading to dry skin.

Though used synonymously, dry skin and dehydrated skin indicate slightly different conditions. Dry skin is usually caused by the lack of sebum secreted by your sebaceous glands and dehydrated skin is caused by the lack of moisture.

What Causes Dry Skin On Your Face?

woman with dry skin on her face

Various internal and external factors can result in dry skin. Some of the common causes are listed below. You can visit your Ayurvedic doctor to know the exact cause behind your skin’s dryness.

1. Change In Weather

A shift in the weather can dry out your skin, making it appear rough and flaky. Cold, dry winters rob your skin of essential oils that keep it soft and supple otherwise. To maintain optimal body temperature in winter, your subcutaneous blood flow is restricted, causing a dip in sebum secretion that further dries out your skin. People living in areas that experience dry summers also complain of dry skin problems as the lack of humidity in the air causes excessive moisture loss.

2. Harsh Soaps And Cleansers

It is important to choose your soaps and face washes carefully after checking their formations. Skin cleansing products that contain harsh sulfates can irritate your skin and wash off essential oils that act as natural moisturizers. Go for herbal products that do not contain sulfates, parabens and artificial colours and fragrances.

3. Hormonal Changes

Your skin’s condition also depends on internal factors such as your hormonal balance. Imbalances in three main hormones that can affect your skin are the thyroid hormone, the Cortisol (stress hormone), the estrogen and progesterone hormones.

4. Skin Barrier Impairment

Your epidermal barrier protects your skin from various external influences. Weakening of this barrier will disable your skin’s ability to withhold moisture. It can also cause excessive trans-epidermal water loss from the surface of your skin leading to dry skin.

5. Skin Conditions

Certain skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis have dry skin as one of their primary symptoms. If you are experiencing an acute case of dry skin, it is better to consult a doctor to check for other skin conditions.

6. Over-exposure To Heat/ Sun

Constant exposure to heat and UV radiation can damage your skin. Apart from causing excessive moisture loss, UV rays are known to cause direct DNA cell damage, thereby increasing dryness and the formation of dead skin cells. This also holds true for your luxurious hot water baths.

7. Nutrition Deficiency

When your body is deprived of the right nutrition, it takes a direct toll on your skin. A body deficient in Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B and Zinc is likely to show dry skin symptoms.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dry Skin?

woman with dry skin on elbow

Understanding your skin’s need is the first step to restoring its health. The below mentioned symptoms are key indicators to your skin’s requirement for extra hydration and care.

1. Rough, scaly and dehydrated skin.

2. Itchy skin.

3. Flaking and peeling.

4. Inflammations that are often accompanied by redness.

5. Burning sensations.

6. Cracked skin that is prone to bleeding.

Types Of Dry Skin

A. Dermatitis Or Eczema

Dermatitis or Eczema [3] is a condition of the skin which causes inflammation, dry, scaly, itchy skin, redness and rashes. There are 7 sub types of eczema that are triggered by various internal and external factors. The 4 main types involving dry skin symptoms are mentioned below.

1. Contact Dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis is caused when your skin comes in contact with an irritant. Chemicals in paint, soaps, detergents etc. are common trigger factors. The condition is characterized by skin irritation, itchiness and skin rash.

2. Seborrhoeic Dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic skin disorder that leads to itchy, flaky, inflamed skin. Dandruff is a non-inflamed type of seborrhoeic dermatitis. This is caused by an immune reaction to the overgrowth of malassezia yeast on the skin.

3. Neurodermatitis

Neurodermatitis is a chronic skin condition that results in itchy patches of dry skin that is sensitive to touch.

4. Atopic dermatitis

Most common type of eczema that is often found in children as well as in adults. It appears as patchy dry, scaly skin in different areas of your body.

How To Get Rid Of Dry Skin On Your Face?

Skincare and Ayurvedic remedies for dry skin are formulated keeping your skin’s requirements in mind. Ayurvedic herbs and natural ingredients that cater to these needs are used to rejuvenate and heal your dry skin. The 3 main requirements to treat dry skin on face are:

  • Mild Exfoliation Or Dead Cell Removal
  • Skin Rejuvenation And Skin Barrier Repairment
  • Hydration


Dead Skin Cells Removal

Dry Skin Rejuvenation

Dry Skin Hydration

Natural Ingredients For Dry Skin

Oatmeal, Malai (cream of milk), Gram Flour, Masoor Dal Paste, Sugar

Wild Yam, Soybean, Cucumber, Avocado, Banana, Egg, Papaya

Aloe Vera gel, Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil, Almond Oil, Soy Milk

Ayurvedic Herbs For Dry Skin

Yastimadhu, Triphala, Ela (cardamom)

Shatavari, Manjistha, Triphala, Gotu kola, Japa, Guduchi, Burdock Root, Tulsi

Rose Water, Madhu, Kumari (aloe vera), Ghrita

A. Natural Methods

woman hydrating with orange juice

1. Hydrate Yourself

Dry skin is often a sign of dehydration. Make sure to drink an adequate amount of water and a little more if your daily routine includes strenuous workouts. Carry a bottle of water with you if you are spending long hours in the sun. Skin tends to get dry faster when exposed to direct sunlight, so it is better to restore the lost moisture from the inside.

2. Consume Foods With High Water Content

Chalk out a diet plan that includes lots of vegetables and fruits with high water content. Foods rich in Vitamin E such as coconut, peanuts, ghee, mustard oil also help to hydrate dry skin.

Below mentioned are the some of the best fruit juices for dry skin that can restore your skin’s moisture balance:

  • Tender Coconut Water
  • Cucumber and Aloe Vera Juice
  • Watermelon/ Banana/ Avocado/ Kiwi Juice
  • Lemon, Ginger and Mint Juice
  • Seasonal Fruits

3. Follow The 5 Step Skincare Routine For Dry Skin

Religiously follow the 5 step skincare routine of Cleansing, Exfoliating, Face Steaming, Applying Hydrating Face Mask and Moisturizing. Use natural ingredients that are gentle on irritated, dry skin (refer to table above). This ensures the regular removal of surface dirt and dead skin cells and fosters new cell generation and skin hydration. Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil also act as amazing sunscreens for dry skin that keep you protected from UV ray damage.

4. Face Mists

Face mists are an instant remedy to dry skin. Make your own hydrating face mist by boiling 5 to 6 hibiscus flowers. Strain the liquid and add rose water to it. Pour it in a spray bottle and carry it with you when you step out. Spray every 2 hours or as needed whenever your skin feels dry.

B. Home Remedies To Treat Dry Skin

woman with green clay and cucumber

Best Natural Face Packs For Dry Skin

1. Wild Yam And Soy Milk Face Pack

Mix wild yam powder and soy milk in a blender and apply it on your face and other dry skin areas. Leave it on for 15 mins and wash it off. Wild yam is an excellent natural ingredient that has the ability to fight dry, dull, wrinkled skin. Soy milk and wild yam together help moisturize and cure dry skin that has lost its youth and health.

2. Soybean, Coconut Oil And Yogurt Face Pack

Make a paste of soybean and add yoghurt and a few drops of coconut oil to it. Apply for 15 mins and wash off before the paste dries. These extremely hydrating elements along with their skin regeneration properties easily treat dry, dull skin, giving you a natural glow.

3. Cucumber And Avocado Face Pack

Blend cucumber and avocado together and apply it all over your dry skin. Cucumber, along with avocado cools and hydrates your skin, thereby giving the optimum moisturization needed for your dry skin.

4. Banana, Egg And Honey Face Pack

This dry skin pack is an amazing combination of skin friendly vitamins and nutrients essential to treat dry skin. Blend a ripe banana with an egg yolk and add some honey to it. Honey acts as a great moisturizer for dry skin. Apply this over the dry areas of your skin and leave it on for 15 mins and wash off with lukewarm water.

5. Papaya And Milk Face Pack

Papaya is a powerhouse of skin benefitting properties. It moisturizes, fights premature ageing, wrinkles, dry skin and pigmentation. Simply blend a ripe papaya with full-fat milk and apply on dry skin. Leave it on for 15 mins and wash off.

C. Essential Oils For Dry Skin

Essential oils act as the best natural moisturizers for dry skin. They hydrate, heal and replenish your skin’s lost health.

  • Coconut Oil - Balances both Vata and Pitta Doshas.
  • Sesame Oil - Balances all three Doshas.
  • Almond Oil - Balances Vata Dosha.
  • Olive Oil - Balances Vata Dosha. Is also effective in balancing Pitta Dosha.
  • Hibiscus Oil - Balances Pitta Dosha.
  • Castor Oil - Balances Vata and Kapha Doshas.

D. Ayurvedic Tips For Dry Skin

1. Herbal Exfoliation

The technique of herbal exfoliation (Udvartana) to clear dead skin, pacify your Doshas, remove harmful Ama toxins and rejuvenate your skin is an age old practice in Ayurveda. The herbs are decided based on your Prakriti (body constitution) and the aggravation of your Doshas. For calming Vata and Pitta Doshas that are usually responsible for dry skin, the following herbs can be used to exfoliate skin.

Yastimadhu, Triphala And Ela (cardamom)

Make a slightly coarse powder of the above ingredients and add milk/ rose water/ honey to make an exfoliation paste. Gently exfoliate the dry skin areas to remove dead skin cells. Do not over-exfoliate as it may irritate your skin. Wash off with tepid water to reveal soft, smooth skin.

2. Ayurvedic Herbs For Dry Skin

The following wonder herbs of Ayurveda are used in numerous topical lepas or face packs to treat dry skin conditions. These are easily available in powdered forms in Ayurvedic stores. To make an Ayurvedic Lepa at home, combine these herbs with aloe vera gel/ honey/ milk/ rose water/ coconut oil/ almond oil and use on the affected areas. Wash off after 15 mins before the pack dries off.

  • Shatavari - Balances Vata and Pitta Doshas.
  • Manjistha - Balances Vata and Pitta Doshas.
  • Triphala - Balances all three Doshas.
  • Gotu kola - Balances all three Doshas.
  • Japa - Balances Pitta Dosha.
  • Guduchi - Balances all three Doshas.
  • Burdock Root - balances Pitta Dosha.
  • Tulsi - Balances all three Doshas.

3. Abhyanga

Abhyanga [4] or Ayurvedic oil massage has proven to be highly effective against many skin conditions, especially dry skin. Herbal oil massages help your skin to absorb the goodness of the essential oils and pacify aggravated Vata and Pitta Doshas. It removes dead skin and harmful toxins, giving your skin a moisturized and rejuvenated feel.

4. Nasya

Nasya is the ayurvedic procedure of administering medicated liquids to pacify a Dosha aggravation and cure body ailments. It hydrates dry skin and replenishes it from within bringing about a natural healthy glow. Instill 2 drops of ghee into each nostril before bedtime for best effects.

5. Gandusha

The process of holding herb infused water or Ayurvedic oils inside the oral cavity for a period of time, is known as Gandusha. Apart from its various body benefits, the practice of Gandusha combats dry skin problems, premature ageing, wrinkles and fine lines. It effectively brings about a glow with regular use. You can use coconut oil, lukewarm water or ghee for practising Gandusha at home.

Vedix Tip: Natural emollients such as Honey and Aloe Vera serve multiple benefits for dry skin. They can act as moisturizers, sunscreen and even form a protective layer that prevents transepidermal water loss from the surface of your skin.

E. Other Treatments For Dry Skin

1. Hyaluronic Acid

The new magic potion in the market, Hyaluronic Acid [5] is highly hydrating and combats various skin ageing conditions. It is considered one of the best moisturizers for dry skin. Select a serum or lotion that contains hyaluronic acid in mild concentration to get quick relief from dry, chapped skin.

2. Hydrocortisone Cream

Over-the-counter Hydrocortisone topical ointments or creams are effective against various minor skin problems and are also prescribed for treating dry skin. Use one with a mild concentration and make sure to moisturize later.

How Do You Prevent Dry Skin On Your Face?

woman spraying facial mist on her face

Ghee is excellent to heal dry skin according to ayurveda. It balances both Pitta and Vata doshas. Unlike other dairy products it is not inflammatory, thus, is excellent to maintain skin health,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.

1. Increase your fluid intake.

2. Moisturize frequently or use face mists to prevent your skin from drying out.

3. Don’t skip your sunscreen while stepping out. Aloe vera and coconut oil act as natural sunscreens for dry skin. Top it up with protective clothing that prevents direct exposure to sunlight.

4. Follow a healthy diet which includes lots of green vegetables and seasonal fruits.

5. Apply oil or aloe vera gel before going into the pool. Chlorine in swimming pools can further dry out your skin.

6. Avoid hot water baths as it may cause loss of essential moisture.

7. Don’t over-exfoliate.

8. Stay away from harsh skin cleansing products which contain sulfates and artificial colours and fragrances.

9. Exercise regularly to flush out harmful toxins and improve blood circulation to your skin.

10. Wear soft fabrics that cause less friction.

How To Diagnose Dry Skin?

A. Getting To Know Your Skin Type

In Ayurveda, the first step of any skin treatment is to diagnose your Prakriti or unique body constitution. This helps in understanding your skin type and which Doshas are more dominant in your body. A Vata Prakriti person will be more prone to dry skin conditions and accordingly needs to be prescribed a suitable skincare routine and Ayurvedic diet.

B. Allergy Test -H3

Your doctor may ask you for an allergy test to determine the underlying cause of your dry skin.

C. Check For Skin Conditions

Since normal dry skin is easy to diagnose by appearance itself, your doctor may prescribe some OTC topical ointments or lotions. For extreme cases, he may check for other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis which may be causing the dry skin.

What Can Happen If Dry Skin Is Left Untreated?

Dry skin can be bothersome, but it is not essentially harmful. However, it is better to start treatment early on as dry skin left untreated may develop further complications. For instance, dry skin can lead to cracks which gradually may increase with friction and pressure and get infected. Leaving dry skin untreated will only worsen the condition and cause more damage to your skin. It is also important to know what is causing your dry skin so you can be administered the right treatment without unwanted delay.

Why Is Your Skin Dry Even When You Moisturize?

Usually dry skin is caused by lack of moisture or sebum. However, if the underlying cause is a genetic one or if it’s due to a different skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, applying moisturizer will not solve the problem. In that case, it is best that you consult a doctor for receiving the correct treatment.

The Last Word

Dry, patchy skin, if not serious, can be a constant annoyance. There are various internal and external reasons that contribute to giving you dry skin. Being a sign of skin damage, dry skin must not be left untreated. Sometimes, negligence can further aggravate the condition. Remember proper hydration, a healthy Ayurvedic diet, stress free lifestyle and most importantly a good Dosha balancing Ayurvedic skincare can easily cure your dry skin problems.

At Vedix, we carefully evaluate your Doshas and based on the results, customize a personalized skincare regimen for your skin type and needs.

Know Your Dosha Now

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